Evie Stevens beats Marianne Vos to take la Flèche Wallonne Femmes
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Evie Stevens beats Marianne Vos to take la Flèche Wallonne Femmes

by Ben Atkins at 9:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Race Reports and Results, Flèche Wallonne
American does the seemingly impossible and outsprints Dutch champion on the Mur de Huy

evie stevensEvie Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) has done what nobody though possible and beaten Marianne Vos (Rabobank) on the Mur de Huy in la Flèche Wallonne, to deny the Dutch champion a fifth victory. The two leaders fought it out up the final, impossibly steep slopes of the climb, which has been Vos’ territory so many times before, but the American managed to outsprint her rival in the final 30 metres.

Stevens and Vos were the best of a five-rider break that had formed in the final 15km of the 123km race; they had bridged across the original group of Lucinda Brand (AA Drink-Leontien.nl), Linda Villumsen (GreenEdge-AIS) and Clara Hughes (Specialized-lululemon), leading to a straight fight up the final climb to the finish.

"The team rode tactically very well and I think that was what the difference was," said Stevens at the finish. "They set me up perfectly for the win. The plan was I go for the sprint, Clara was in the break and I was saving, saving…

"I’ve been dreaming about this for a long time," she added. "It didn’t hurt at all because I knew I was going for the win at Flèche Wallonne."

Villumsen was the best of the rest in third place, ahead of Brand, while Hughes was caught by the chasing peloton in the way to the line, with South African champion Ashleigh Moolman (Lotto-Belisol) taking fifth.

The attacks began on the opening climb of the Côte de Peu d’Eau, after 39 km, as Valentina Scandolara (Italy) managed to open up a ten second lead. The Italian all-rounder was chased by Tiffany Cromwell (GreenEdge-AIS), but both were soon back in the peloton as it made its way down the descent.

Shortly after Scandolara and Cromwell were caught, Cromwell’s GreenEdge-AIS Amanda Spratt managed to get away alone. The Australian champion opened up a wide gap, which peaked at 2’40” over the top of the Côte de Groynne after 69.5km. The peloton gradually closed it down however, and, as Spratt hit the first ascent of the Mur, after 92km, she was caught. Most of the race’s contenders were close to the front as the much-reduced peloton crossed the finish line, with just the 31km finishing loop to ride.

On the false flat that followed the climb, Brand, Hughes and Villumsen escaped and, over third to last climb of the Côte d'Amay with just 15km to go, were 50 seconds clear; Rabobank sent Annemiek van Vleuten and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot to the front to bring them back.

At this point the race was ended for 2010 winner Emma Pooley (AA Drink-Leontien.nl). Already having been brought down twice in the race by separate incidents - and having had to change bikes to a broken rear derailleur the second time - the former British champion was taken down for a third time, breaking the rear derailleur of her spare bike.

To add insult to injury, Pooley’s bike was then run over by a motorcycle and, without a third bike [Pooley is just 1.57 metres tall, and rides Cervélo’s smallest size, so would have been unable to use a teammate’s machine - ed] one of the favourites for the race was forced to climb into her team car.

On the Côte de Villers-le-Bouillet, just nine kilometres left, Vos jumped away in pursuit herself. Stevens went with her and, with Canadian teammate Hughes up ahead, was able to sit on the Dutch champion’s wheel as they bridged across to the leaders; catching them with just seven kilometres to go.

Brand was the first to make a move as the five-strong group hit the Mur, but the Dutchwoman was soon overcome by a strong, steady surge from Stevens. Vos was glued to the American’s wheel, with Villumsen battling hard to stay in contact; Brand drifted backwards, while time triallist Hughes was dropped entirely.

On the steepest part of the climb, Vos attacked, which in previous years has meant ‘race over’ for the rest. As the Dutch champion fought her bike up the climb however, Stevens was defying precedent and hanging on.

As Vos reached the final hundred metres, where the gradient began to ease, Stevens put in another burst and gradually moved past. Vos was all over the front of her bike, but the four-time winner just couldn’t force any more speed out of her machine and Stevens began to pull away.

“In the run-up to the last climb of the Mur de Huy I had to work hard and then I started the sprint way too early.” Vos explained afterwards.

Stevens was clear as she hit the line, and punched the air in jubilation, while behind her an exhausted Vos was barely able to cross it as she slumped over her handlebars.

Click here for a report on the Men's Flèche Wallonne


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Fleche Wallonne Feminine (World Cup) Results (123km):

  Click on the arrowsat the top of the column to sort the race results.
Country Result Name Team Time
usa USA 1 Evelyn Stevens (Team Specialized- Lululemon) 03:26:32
ned NED 2 Marianne Vos (Rabobank Women Team) 00:00:04
nzl NZL 3 Linda Villumsen (GreenEdge-AIS) 00:00:20
ned NED 4 Lucinda Brand (AA Drink - Leontien.nl) 00:00:27
rsa RSA 5 Ashleigh Moolman (Lotto Belisol Ladies) 00:00:41
ger GER 6 Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) s.t.
usa USA 7 Megan Guarnier (Team TIBCO) 00:00:44
can CAN 8 Clara Hughes (Team Specialized- Lululemon) 00:00:48
swe SWE 9 Emma Johansson (Hitec Products - Mistral Home) s.t.
can CAN 10 Karol-ann Canuel (Vienne Futuroscope) 00:00:51
fra FRA 11 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team) s.t.
ned NED 12 Anna Van Der Breggen (Sengers Ladies Cycling Team) 00:00:55
ned NED 13 Annemiek Van Vleuten (Rabobank Women Team) s.t.
usa USA 14 Amber Neben (Team Specialized- Lululemon) s.t.
ita ITA 15 Rossella Ratto (Verinlegno - Fabiani) 00:01:00
blr BLR 16 Alena Amialyusik (Be Pink) s.t.
ger GER 17 Hanka Kupfernagel (RusVelo) 00:01:06
aus AUS 18 Tiffany Cromwell (GreenEdge-AIS) s.t.
ltu LTU 19 Rasa Leleivyte (Vaiana - Tepso) 00:01:10
gbr GBR 20 Sharon Laws (AA Drink - Leontien.nl) s.t.
aus AUS 21 Joanne Hogan (Bizkaia-Durango) s.t.
can CAN 22 Julie Beveridge (Vienne Futuroscope) s.t.
ger GER 23 Trixi Worrack (Team Specialized- Lululemon) 00:01:17
fra FRA 24 Amelie Rivat (Vienne Futuroscope) 00:01:20
lux LUX 25 Christine Majerus (Team GSD Gestion) s.t.
fra FRA 26 Biannic Aude () s.t.
ita ITA 27 Noemi Cantele (Be Pink) 00:01:23
aut AUT 28 Andrea Graus (Vienne Futuroscope) 00:01:24
ita ITA 29 Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini - Giambenini - Gauss) 00:01:27
usa USA 30 Andrea Dvorak (Exergy Twenty12) 00:01:32
ned NED 31 Adrie Visser (Skil - Argos) s.t.
aus AUS 32 Carla Ryan (AA Drink - Leontien.nl) s.t.
fra FRA 33 Julie Krasniak () 00:01:35
pol POL 34 Sylwia Kapusta-szydlak (Hitec Products - Mistral Home) 00:01:44
usa USA 35 Kristin Mcgrath (Exergy Twenty12) 00:01:48
rus RUS 36 Natalia Boyarskaya (RusVelo) 00:01:50
rus RUS 37 Larisa Pankova () 00:01:52
ger GER 38 Claudia Haüsler (GreenEdge-AIS) 00:02:00
fra FRA 39 Christelle Ferrier-breneau (Hitec Products - Mistral Home) 00:02:09
fra FRA 40 Manon Souyris (Vienne Futuroscope) 00:02:55
rus RUS 41 Tatiana Antoshina (Rabobank Women Team) 00:03:55
irl IRL 42 Siobhan Horgan (Team GSD Gestion) 00:05:12
rsa RSA 43 Joanna Van De Winkel (Lotto Belisol Ladies) s.t.
ita ITA 44 Valentina Scandolara (S.C. Michela Fanini Rox) 00:05:14
fra FRA 45 Alexia Muffat (Asptt Dijon - Bourgogne) s.t.
bel BEL 46 Maaike Polspoel (Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012) s.t.
bel BEL 47 Annelies Van Doorslaer (Kleo Ladies Team) 00:05:19
bel BEL 48 Sofie De Vuyst (Lotto Belisol Ladies) 00:05:21
rus RUS 49 Alexandra Burchenkova (S.C. Michela Fanini Rox) s.t.
sui SUI 50 Patricia Schwager (Team GSD Gestion) s.t.
bel BEL 51 Ine Beyen (Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012) s.t.
ned NED 52 Pauliena Rooijakkers (TWC De Kempen) 00:05:27
ita ITA 53 Elena Berlato (Fassa Bortolo - Servetto) 00:05:29
rus RUS 54 Olga Zabelinskaya (RusVelo) s.t.
fra FRA 55 Edwige Pitel (Vienne Futuroscope) s.t.
slo SLO 56 Polona Batagelj (Diadora-Pasta Zara) s.t.
ita ITA 57 Valentina Carretta (MCipollini - Giambenini - Gauss) 00:05:31
esp ESP 58 Anna Sanchis (Bizkaia-Durango) 00:05:32
rus RUS 59 Oxana Kozonchuk (Be Pink) s.t.
ned NED 60 Petra Dijkman (Kleo Ladies Team) s.t.
ned NED 61 Amy Pieters (Skil - Argos) s.t.
ned NED 62 Anouska Koster (Dolmans - Boels Cycling Team) s.t.
rus RUS 63 Marina Likhanova () 00:05:37
nor NOR 64 Lise Nøstvold (Hitec Products - Mistral Home) s.t.
ned NED 65 Mascha Pijnenborg (Dolmans - Boels Cycling Team) s.t.
fra FRA 66 Melanie Bravard (Team GSD Gestion) 00:05:44
bel BEL 67 Else Belmans (Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012) s.t.
bel BEL 68 Lieselot Decroix (Dolmans - Boels Cycling Team) 00:05:46
lux LUX 69 Nathalie Lamborelle (Kleo Ladies Team) s.t.
ita ITA 70 Fabiana Luperini (Faren-Honda Team) s.t.
MEX 71 Giuseppina Grassi (Faren-Honda Team) 00:05:53
rsa RSA 72 Lise Olivier (Lotto Belisol Ladies) s.t.
ned NED 73 Loes Gunnewijk (GreenEdge-AIS) 00:05:58
pol POL 74 Malgorzata Jasinska (MCipollini - Giambenini - Gauss) 00:06:01
bel BEL 75 Ludivine Henrion (Lotto Belisol Ladies) 00:06:04
ita ITA 76 Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products - Mistral Home) 00:06:08
bel BEL 77 Liesbet De Vocht (Rabobank Women Team) s.t.
ned NED 78 Roxane Knetemann (Rabobank Women Team) 00:06:19
aus AUS 79 Amanda Spratt (GreenEdge-AIS) 00:06:22
ita ITA 80 Giorgia Bronzini (Diadora-Pasta Zara) s.t.
ukr UKR 81 Alona Andruk (Diadora-Pasta Zara) s.t.
usa USA 82 Amanda Miller (Team TIBCO) 00:06:40
usa USA 83 Janel Holcomb (Exergy Twenty12) s.t.
usa USA 84 Ally Stacher (Team Specialized- Lululemon) 00:07:16
ned NED 85 Sabrina Stultiens (GRC Jan Van Arckel) s.t.
ned NED 86 Geerike Schreurs (Sengers Ladies Cycling Team) 00:07:26
usa USA 87 Lauren Hall (Team TIBCO) s.t.
usa USA 88 Taylor Wiles (Exergy Twenty12) 00:07:29
ned NED 89 Sophie De Boer (WV Schijndel) 00:07:33
fra FRA 90 Mélodie Lesueur () 00:07:35
rus RUS 91 Julia Martisova (Be Pink) 00:07:58
aus AUS 92 Carlee Taylor (Vienne Futuroscope) 00:08:08
fra FRA 93 Lucie Pader (Team GSD Gestion) 00:09:31
ned NED 94 Marieke Van Wanroij (AA Drink - Leontien.nl) 00:09:55
ita ITA 95 Susanna Zorzi (MCipollini - Giambenini - Gauss) 00:10:03
ita ITA 96 Elena Cecchini (MCipollini - Giambenini - Gauss) 00:10:08
ita ITA 97 Eleonora Patuzzo (Be Pink) 00:10:09
bel BEL 98 Anisha Vekemans (Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012) 00:10:16
usa USA 99 Jennifer Wheeler (Team TIBCO) 00:10:39
bel BEL 100 Inge Roggeman (Sengers Ladies Cycling Team) 00:11:00
usa USA 101 Jennifer Purcell (Team TIBCO) 00:11:06
ger GER 102 Anna-bianca Schnitzmeier (ABUS - Nutrixxion) 00:11:11
ltu LTU 103 Inga Cilvinaite (Diadora-Pasta Zara) 00:11:20
swe SWE 104 Emilia Fahlin (Team Specialized- Lululemon) 00:11:28
ned NED 105 Julia Soek (Ruiter Dakkapellen Ladies Cycling Team) 00:11:32
ita ITA 106 Martina Corazza (Kleo Ladies Team) 00:11:34
ger GER 107 Sarah-lena Hofmann () s.t.
ita ITA 108 Alessandra Dettorre (Diadora-Pasta Zara) s.t.
ita ITA 109 Monia Baccaile (MCipollini - Giambenini - Gauss) s.t.
ger GER 110 Lisa Fischer () s.t.
rus RUS 111 Elena Utrobina (Faren-Honda Team) 00:11:46
ltu LTU 112 Aleksandra Sosenko (Vaiana - Tepso) s.t.
swe SWE 113 Sara Mustonen (Hitec Products - Mistral Home) 00:11:51
rus RUS 114 Elena Bocharnikova () 00:11:56
ltu LTU 115 Katarzyna Sosna (Vaiana - Tepso) 00:11:58
ger GER 116 Martina Zwick () 00:12:05
usa USA 117 Samantha Schneider (Team TIBCO) 00:12:08
rus RUS 118 Irina Molicheva (RusVelo) 00:12:24
rus RUS 119 Anastasiya Chulkova () 00:14:34
bel BEL 120 Karen Verhestraeten (Sengers Ladies Cycling Team) 00:16:02
ned NED 121 Anne De Wildt (Skil - Argos) 00:16:05
ned NED 122 Esra Tromp (Skil - Argos) 00:16:09
aus AUS 123 Myfanwy Galloway (Faren-Honda Team) 00:16:12
ita ITA 124 Viviana Gatto (Fassa Bortolo - Servetto) 00:16:25
swe SWE 125 Marie Lindberg (Kleo Ladies Team) s.t.
ned NED 126 Alie Gercama (Dolmans - Boels Cycling Team) 00:16:40
usa USA 127 Ruth Winder () s.t.
ned NED 128 Monique Van De Ree (Skil - Argos) 00:16:44
ltu LTU DNF Agne Silinyte (Diadora-Pasta Zara)  
rus RUS DNF Aizhan Zhaparova ()  
esp ESP DNF Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Bizkaia-Durango)  
ita ITA DNF Anna Trevisi (Vaiana - Tepso)  
ned NED DNF Birgit Lavrijssen (Sengers Ladies Cycling Team)  
bel BEL DNF Celine Van Severen (Sengers Ladies Cycling Team)  
ita ITA DNF Chiara Nadalutti (Faren-Honda Team)  
esp ESP DNF Cristina Alcalde Huertanos (Bizkaia-Durango)  
esp ESP DNF Dorleta Eskamendi Gil (Bizkaia-Durango)  
gbr GBR DNF Emma Pooley (AA Drink - Leontien.nl)  
bel BEL DNF Evelyn Arys (Kleo Ladies Team)  
review DNF Evelyn Garcia (Be Pink)  
bel BEL DNF Gilke Croket (Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012)  
esp ESP DNF Gloria Rodriguez Sanchez (Bizkaia-Durango)  
ned NED DNF Henriette Woering (WV Zeeuws-Vlaanderen)  
bel BEL DNF Jessie Daams (AA Drink - Leontien.nl)  
ned NED DNF Josien Van Wingerden (Specialized Dpd Sram Cycling Team)  
bel BEL DNF Kaat Hannes (Lotto Belisol Ladies)  
ned NED DNF Kelly Markus (Skil - Argos)  
bel BEL DNF Latoya Brulee (Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012)  
ger GER DNF Lisa Küllmer ()  
ger GER DNF Lisa Poller ()  
fra FRA DNF Magdaléna De Saint Jean (Asptt Dijon - Bourgogne)  
ned NED DNF Marissa Otten (Dolmans - Boels Cycling Team)  
gbr GBR DNF Nicole Cooke (Faren-Honda Team)  
ger GER DNF Romy Kasper (RusVelo)  
rus RUS DNF Svetlana Bubnenkova (RusVelo)  
ltu LTU DNF Urte Juodvalkyte (Vaiana - Tepso)  
ita ITA DNF Valentina Bastianelli (Vaiana - Tepso)  

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